Crisp and hot butter (benne in Kannada) dosas (rice lentil pancakes) from Davangere District of Karnataka State in South India.

 
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The varieties of dosas made in different homes are endless. You have the traditional and handeddown dosa recipes such as – sada (plain) dosa, set dosa (mini dosas in sets of 3), masala dosa, tuppa (ghee) dosa, neer dosa (traditional magalorean rice crepes),  pesarattu (andhra special moong dal dosa), adai (Tamil Nadu special lentil dosa), sabudana (sago) dosa, menthe (methi seeds) dosa, batate (potato) dosa etc.
 
Additional ingredients are added to regular/ traditional dosa or idli batter to make – bread dosa, banana dosa, urad-rava dosa, urad-maida dosa, urad-ragi dosa, uttappams (dosa topped with vegetable toppings) and so on. Then you have instant and  more of  handed down or tried and tested recipes again created to satisfy ones craving for dosas instantly – rava dosa, onion rava dosa, tomato omelette, cucumber dosa (mangalore special), wheat flour (godhi/godhumai) dosa, vermicelli dosa etc and with so many twists and variations within them. The more adventurous ones in the kitchen have gone ahead and experimented on the traditional recipes or created newer and contemporary recipes.
 
While some prefer the above ones over the contemporary creations, many do relish it for breakfast or an evening meal. There are again plenty of these recipes available to suit taste, needs of many! One very popular is the spring dosa – dosas with similar stuffing used for spring roll. Then you have dosas with pizza toppings, spinach dosa, oats dosa and so on. You will find numerous books with title as – 99 dosa varities or similar ones but the truth is, pick recipes from all these and you will find that majority of them are different from each other or unique and hence there are numerous dosa recipes out there!!
 
The question – “what is a dosa?” popped into your minds? Then click here to know more.

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One traditional and ever popular dosa variety from Karnataka is the Davangere Benne Dosa. Benne means butter in Kannada. Davangere is a district n north of Karnataka state. The dosas are cooked over a hot iron pan with generous amounts of butter and this gives it that authentic, signature taste and aroma. Benne dosas are generally soft yet crisp on one side and has a melt-in-your mouth, buttery texture. Benne dosas can be stuffed with potato masala to make Benne Masala Dosas.

Davangere benne dosa

Soft dosas with flavor of fresh homemade butter. A speciality of Davangere district of Karnataka.

  • {1 pav = 1 ½ cup (approx})
  • see notes below to know about ‘pav’ measure
  • Dosa rice – 1 pav
  • Urad dal – ½ pav
  • Methi seeds – ½ tsp
  • Puffed rice (murmura – a handful)
  • Maida – 2 tbsp
  • Soda-bi-card/ cooking soda – ¼ tsp (see notes)
  • Ghee/ clarified butter & butter – to roast dosas

To serve

  • Homemade butter
  • Coconut chutney
  1. Soak together rice, urad dal, methi seeds in sufficient water for 2 hours.
  2. Soak the puffed rice for ½ hour (1 ½ hours after soaking the above).
  3. Drain and grind together all the soaked ingredients together to a thick dosa-consistency batter.
  4. In a vessel big enough to hold the batter put maida and little water and mix to make a thick paste. Then add in the batter. Mix. Leave to ferment 8 hrs/overnight.
  5. Next morning before you make dosas, add salt and mix. Then add soda bi carb to the batter and mix. A
  6. To make dosas, heat a iron pan/ non stick pan over medium heat.
  7. Pour ladleful of batter onto centre of hot pan and spread it immediately with the back of the ladle in circular motion to get dosas of 4” to 6” diameter. Pour 1 tsp ghee all round the sides and cook a minute(covered or uncovered). Then add 2 tsps butter around the edges and roast till underside is golden and crisp.
  8. Remove onto serving plate. Sprinkle the hot pan with some water, wipe with a clean tissue. Continue to make remaining dosas.
  9. Serve dosas hot with fresh homemade butter and coconut chutney on the side.

Add cooking soda only to portion of batter you are going to use. Do not keep/ store batter to which soda is added. If you are not going to use the entire batter, keep the remaining batter in the fridge and add soda only to portion you are going to use.
We usually do not add cooking soda and yet get crispy, tasty dosas.
You could make the dosas either thinner and large size or smaller and thicker mini dosas.
You could make Masala Dosas using the same batter. For the recipe for Potato bhaji and method of making masala dosa, click here.
You can skip adding butter and roast dosas with only ghee.
The measure called ‘pav’ used above is a traditional measure followed in many homes in South India. 1 pav equals 1 ½ cup approx. You can use your regular cup measures but make sure you use the same cup measure for both rice and urad dal.
Never add ghee/ butter onto centre of dosas when you cook, it makes them soft and does not get the golden color. Drizzle around edges and roast till edges start to turn brown.
For those who have the luxury of getting hold of homemade butter, make and serve dosas with them. Else you can use store bought butter.

 
 
 

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